100 Things to Do In and Around San Francisco

Last week, I had lunch with my friend, Hideki, and he mentioned that he’d recently put together a list of “things to do in and around San Francisco”. Hideki and his wife live in San Francisco so this list started as things they want to do, or things they tell their friends to do when they visit. What started as 50+ ideas from Hideki, has grown to 100 with some additions from Kevin and I. It’s a perfect list to share with friends who are planning a trip to San Francisco, but I also love the idea of keeping this list handy for those wide open weekends when we’re looking to play tourist ourselves.


\\ Photo courtesy of Vero Suh Photoghraphy //


  1. Bike Across the Golden Gate Bridge
  2. Alcatraz Night Tour
  3. Hiking in Muir Woods
  4. Elevator Ride to the Top of Coit Tower
  5. Sailing in the Bay
  6. Cable Car Ride
  7. SF Giants Game
  8. Gilroy Garlic Festival
  9. Drive Hwy 1 to Big Sur
  10. Wine Tasting in Napa/Sonoma
  11. Ferry Building Farmer’s Market
  12. Irish Coffee at Buena Vista Cafe
  13. Santa Cruz Boardwalk
  14. Drive Down Lombard Street
  15. Ice Cream Sundae at Ghiradelli’s
  16. Shopping Spree in Union Square
  17. Vodka Tasting at Hangar One
  18. Union Street Festival
  19. See a Movie at Kabuki Theatre
  20. Bay to Breakers (in costume)
  21. Visit Safari West
  22. Afternoon Tea at the Palace Hotel
  23. St. Patrick’s Day Block Party at Irish Bank
  24. Chinese New Year Parade
  25. Off the Grid
  26. Touch Hopper’s Hands
  27. Eat an Authentic Mission Burrito
  28. Oktoberfest at Fort Mason
  29. Visit Fisherman’s Wharf, but only to look for Bush Man
  30. Palace of Fine Arts
  31. Beach Blanket Babylon
  32. Gilroy Outlets
  33. Oakland Warriors Game
  34. Pride Parade
  35. GoCar Tours
  36. Eat Dim Sum (here or here)
  37. Kayak in McCovey Cove
  38. Hike Land’s End
  39. Bundle Up for a Visit to Baker Beach
  40. Segway Tour
  41. Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Patch
  42. Picnic in Dolores Park
  43. North Beach Festival
  44. Experience Indian Summer in September/October
  45. Monterey Bay Aquarium
  46. Experience SantaCon
  47. Obtain the Password for a Drink at Bourbon & Branch
  48. Berry Picking in Half Moon Bay
  49. Union Square Christmas Tree Lighting
  50. Take a Ferry to Sam’s in Tiburon
  51. See a Broadway Show
  52. Stern Grove Festival
  53. House of Air
  54. Movie in the Park
  55. Glass Elevator to the top of the Westin
  56. Tour Anchor Steam Brewing Company
  57. In-N-Out Burger (order off the secret menu)
  58. Attend a Castro Theatre Sing-a-Long
  59. DeYoung Museum
  60. Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon (watch or participate)
  61. See a Show at the Fillmore
  62. Eat SF’s Best Chicken Wings at Kezar Pub
  63. See the “Full House” Houses (aka “the Painted Ladies”)
  64. San Francisco Zoo
  65. Bowling at Presidio Bowl
  66. Maverick’s Surf Competition
  67. Japanese Tea Gardens at Golden Gate Park
  68. Al Fresco Dining in Belden Lane
  69. SF Beer Festival
  70. San Jose Sharks Game
  71. Eat Chinese Food in Chinatown
  72. City Lights Bookstore
  73. Academy of Sciences Museum
  74. Shark Diving at Farallon Islands
  75. Outsidelands
  76. NASCAR Race at Infineon Raceway
  77. Golf at Pebble Beach
  78. Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory
  79. 49er’s Game
  80. Drinks at Cavallo Point
  81. Climb the Lyon Street Stairs
  82. Fleet Week – Blue Angels Air Show
  83. Fillmore Jazz Festival
  84. Visit the Mystery Spot
  85. Walk Along the Embarcadero and Enjoy the Views
  86. Alameda Flea Market
  87. Pho Challenge at Pho Garden
  88. Attend SF Chefs in Union Square
  89. Get a Spa Treatment at Nob Hill Spa
  90. Whale Watching
  91. Oakland Raiders Game
  92. SF MOMA
  93. Get (or watch someone get) a Tattoo on Haight Street
  94. Oakland A’s Game
  95. Volunteer at the SF Food Bank
  96. Shuck Oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co.
  97. Dip Your Toes into the Freezing Cold Pacific at Ocean Beach
  98. Black and White Ball
  99. BBQ on Angel Island
  100. Visit enough to know it’s not San Fran, “the” BART, or “the” MUNI
It’s impossible to fully capture all of the amazing things to do in this city, but it’s a start. Thanks for sharing, Hideki! So what else? What did we miss? What are some of your favorites?


  1. Aaron Friedman says:

    great list – sad that “Hardly Strictly Bluegrass” didn’t make the cut

  2. Barbara says:

    Hmmmmmmm. Many of the items on this list have NOTHNG to do with San Francisco. Gilroy is easily an hour away. So many great places in San Francisco were not mentioned only to have things like Oakland, Pebble Beach (1-1/2 hours away) spotlighted.

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Barbara…you’re right! 🙂 That’s why I titled the post things to do in “and around” San Francisco. It’s simply meant as a starting point for people looking to travel to San Francisco, with the possibility for some day trip adventures. Just thought it was a fun list to share…and certainly not meant to be exhaustive! Feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments if you have favorite sights or activities to share!

  3. Jaime Kafader says:

    Number 29. Sadly, Bush Man passed away this year. 🙁 But Fisherman’s Wharf is still a great place to wander around.

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Jaime…I was so sad to hear that news recently! He was such a fun addition to the Wharf. I need to get that updated, but I’m also sad to remove him. 🙁

      • PurpleSushi says:

        Actually, only one of the 2 Bushmen passed away – the other is still there.

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  10. Erika says:

    I would just like to say that I love your list! I’ve been to SF many times in the past and am extremely happy to have found your list of different things to do for my upcoming trip! Great job, thank you!! =]

  11. Jana Carr says:

    Great list! Makes me want to catch the first plane to our “favorite destination” asap! We have been there several times and the amazing energy gets better every time.. Thanks for posting your list…we will definitely be trying the things we haven’t done on future visits!

    Jana Carr, St. Paul, MN

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